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Apple MacBook Range Update Detailed


Apple MacBook Range Update Detailed

We've heard the MacBook Brick rumours, we've had seen (damn yanks!) the invites and we've spied the leaked spy shots. Let's face it, we all knew what today's Apple event in Cupertino was about so I'm not going to beat about the bush or tease you, but am rather going to come straight out and spread the good news; we have new MacBooks people!!

So what is there to talk about? Well, most importantly those brick rumours were right on the money - the new MacBook and MacBook pro chassis are, indeed, all hewn from one solid chunk of aluminium (or is that aluminum?). If any of you heard that there were no buttons on the touchpad then feel free to congratulate the source because they were dead right as well. The entire thing is one big button and, of course, is Multi-Touch capable.

Having not received a real refresh since November 2007, the 13.3 Macbook is the system that yours truly was most awaiting an update for - presumably why Mr. Jobs left it until last to discuss. The wait, however, has almost been worth it because the entry level MacBook proposition is pretty interesting, in that it's just the old model but with a £719 MSRP.

The new MacBook, though, is a different beast altogether, oh yes indeed! The all-aluminium system is based upon nVidia's forthcoming GeForce 9400M integrated graphics chip (70 per cent GPU, the rest chipset for the curious). Either a 2GHz or 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo (Penryn) CPU is accompanied by 2GB to 4GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 RAM and a 160GB, 250GB or 320GB hard drive. Oh, and if you have a spare £490 then a 128GB SSD will be right up your street.

An LED-backlit 1,280 x 800 screen is present, with the glass extending across the entire front of the lid. Pictures aren't a real indication but at a glance the new systems look gorgeous. Starting price: £949 - ouch! I'm dangerously close to pulling out my debit card, though. And I already own a Sony Vaio TZ - the best laptop of 2007!

MacBook Pro time, then, and it's pretty much more of the same - but bigger. CPU-wise we've got 2.4 and 2.53GHz options on the 15.4in (1,440 x 900 and again LED-backlit), with up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, the same hard drive options as the MacBooks and nVidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics. The 17in machine was promised a similar update, but it doesn't seem to have hit the site yet. Pricing for the 15.4in laptop starts from £1,399 - again, pricey but just look at it for goodness sake.

The Macbook Air wasn't left out of these updates, either. The only change, really, is the move to the nVidia GeForce 9400M, although having the hard drives connected by SATA rather than IDE (as per the first gen Air) might make the SSD option actually worthwhile now. I'll hazard to suggest that post-refresh the only reason for spending the extra money over the MacBook is for the added "Starbucks value" having the former affords over the latter.

An interesting change on the connectivity front of the MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air post-refresh is that the mini-DVI port of old is gone and replaced with a mini-Display Port connector. I'll be honest and say now I think that's a stupid decision - what's wrong with having a full sized port? Oh, of course; you couldn't charge extra for a converter then, could you Apple!?

Oh, one more thing. Apparently the reports of Ethernet's death were greatly exaggerated because despite the MacBooks Air's omission of such a port, both the new Macbook and MacBook Pro sport gigabit ports. Strange, that.

Dark of Day

October 15, 2008, 12:53 am

metal never looked so tasty


October 15, 2008, 1:30 am

Your know it Darky I ordered a top line macbook pricey but im worth it

only downer is I have to wait until the 29th for delivery



October 15, 2008, 1:37 am

I wonder why apple has gone for such a love it or hate it design. It was understandable for the air as that's mostly a fashion item but on more practical machines it seems like it's just going to drive away customers who hate the designs without doing more to give apple a unique look.


October 15, 2008, 1:45 am

i've placed an order right now for the base macbook pro. but the increased price tag is seriously stinging. i was hoping for a &#1631000 price tag... but oh no, apple just have to use the most complex manufacturing process, and bring prices right down to earth...

oh well, all will be resolved once i recieve my first mac :D


October 15, 2008, 2:07 am

on a side note, i hate the fact that matte screens aren't an option >:(

and can the two graphics card work simultaneously (like amd's crossfire x for notebooks)?

and how will that huge buttonless trackpad work in bootcamp windows? i will still need windows for 1 or 2 applications (3ds max STILL has no mac version...)


October 15, 2008, 2:09 am

so has anyone crunched the numbers on what it will set us back compared to the US?

- how bad is the "being british" tax this time?

Rich 42c5

October 15, 2008, 2:32 am

@theory28: http://www.apple.com/ukstore


October 15, 2008, 2:52 am

it looks very similar to the alienware area-51 m15x and on that you can change the colour of the backlit keyboard depending on your mood


October 15, 2008, 3:58 am

maybe i'll just never understand macs. these do look lovely but &#163949 for 2GB of ram and a 160GB hard drive. they do look nice but you've gotta be having a laugh?


October 15, 2008, 4:52 am

Yes, let's all spend &#1632k on an average spec laptop. Sad, fashion victim with money to burn? Ready, Steady...GO! Everyone else...Move along, nothing to see here, move along.


October 15, 2008, 12:15 pm

It's the OS that ultimately makes the price tag worth it. I never understood Macs either (though had never used one), then I took up a job at Apple... Having used a MBP every day for the past 18 months I'll never go back.


October 15, 2008, 12:18 pm

This article reads like it was written by an over-excited 12 year old. Why does a normally credible technology digest site crumble into a gushing mess over anything apple (or SSD) related?

These new macs certainly look stunning, but I am concerned about the price bumps, especially the macbook line. I could just about justify the cost of the mid-level macbook to someone with the previous generation of machines, but I really think I'd struggle to with that &#163949 RRP. Apple really do seem to be sticking two fingers up to the "style over substance" criticisms.

I was also hoping to see the resolution bumps on both pro and regular machines. 1680x1050 on the pro and 144x990 on the regular. In my opinion, the pro needs it more than macbook, but in both cases, they are premium machines and should be kitted out accordingly. This was one of the main reasons I traded in my MBP for an imac.


October 15, 2008, 12:25 pm

>> maybe i'll just never understand macs. these do look lovely but &#163949 for 2GB of ram and

>> a 160GB hard drive. they do look nice but you've gotta be having a laugh?

What's not to understand? Take a look at Apple's earnings and market growth and compare that to high volume vendors. Porsche is selling like a handful of overpriced cars and yet they are slowly taking over VW who are selling like 50x as many cars.

It's marketing 101: find your niche and milk it.


October 15, 2008, 12:33 pm

I can no longer defend Apple anymore, they are just no too expensive.

Long time Mac user from Mini-MacBook-iMac-MBP and now can't justify going the new route, or pushing my misses onto a Mac. Will tell her to get a Dell instead and save the money :(

Andy Vandervell

October 15, 2008, 12:35 pm

Prices are exceedingly high imho plus they're using the same glass panel displays as those on the HP Pavilions, which truth be told we've found to be a bit lacking in brightness so far. Will be interesting to see how these one's fare when we get them in for review.


October 15, 2008, 1:36 pm

Excellent. It appears that there is no longer a Firewire port on the Macbook. That will please Duet owners looking for a portable setup.

PK Son

October 15, 2008, 2:24 pm

I watched the keynote, and they say that there are now more multi touch features (such as 4 finger gestures for expose, and desktop) and the fact that there was no right click button didn't matter before, why would it matter now that the button is gone? In the keynote presentation they say that you can change the settings so you can right click with windows as well.

I am definitely ordering one, but I have to make up my mind about which to buy. the 15 inch MBP, or the 13 MB. hmm.


October 15, 2008, 2:39 pm

Anyone noticed the 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo CTO option on the 2.53GHz MBP? Which CPU is that?! :)


October 15, 2008, 7:44 pm

I can't believe I'm going to be the one that brings this up...



October 15, 2008, 8:14 pm

Is firewire800 compatible with 400 through some kind of adapter? What about all the current firewire-equipped video cameras?


October 15, 2008, 8:21 pm

As usual Apple come up with products that look great but are impractical and too expensive. A large portion of Apples user base is professionals in the movie/photo editing business and Apple really need to get it into their heads that these people DO NOT want to work with glossy screens, and especially not glossy screens with glossy glass in front of them.

I'm a big fan of Apple software (except iTunes), I even use Safari as my default browser on my PC. But Apple your software is not and never will be worth the insane premium you stick on your machines. Seriously your notebooks are matched in specs by reputable manufacturers such as Dell, Asus, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, Toshiba and more by notebooks that are half the price. And yes you may produce some nice looking (if a little bland) designs for your products, and you may have an easy to use yet no more stable then Windows operating system, but that is still not worth a 100% premium over your competitors!


October 15, 2008, 9:17 pm

The blackbook is gone and with 6 months so probably will the white book, apple are using a new process which is more costly eventually this process will get cheaper and so will the new macbooks.


October 15, 2008, 9:38 pm

GherkinG said on 15th October 2008

"Is firewire800 compatible with 400 through some kind of adapter? What about all the current firewire-equipped video cameras?"

Firewire 800 is backwards compatible with 400. Suitable cables are widely available.

Luan Bach

October 16, 2008, 4:33 pm

Nice laptop, shame about the price. I was really looking forward to this update as a Macbook was at the top of my shopping list for xmas. However it is about &#163250 more than I wanted/can afford to pay.


October 16, 2008, 4:37 pm

Yet more style over substance from Apple

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